Despite opposition by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously last Tuesday night ( 10 December 2019) to give final approval to a tax reduction for the city’s largest cannabis businesses.
SF Gate report..
The council had voted unanimously in favor of the tax reduction at its first reading last month and approved it again on Tuesday night.
City Councilman Dan Kalb, who proposed the tax reduction along with Councilwoman Sheng Thao, said it is necessary because Oakland’s 10 percent tax on all non-medical cannabis business gross receipts is among the highest such tax rates in the state that’s being imposed by local jurisdictions.
In a statement, Kalb said, “Many Bay Area jurisdictions tax their cannabis businesses at rates substantially lower than our rates in Oakland. If we want to make sure our cannabis businesses thrive so we can realize the jobs and tax revenue that come with a thriving cannabis industry, then we must be competitive with other jurisdictions.”
Kalb said the cities of Emeryville, Berkeley, San Francisco, Santa Rosa and Richmond all have lower taxes than Oakland. He said, “If Oakland doesn’t act to reduce taxes on cannabis businesses, they simply might not survive, especially our equity-based cannabis businesses, or move to the neighboring jurisdictions.”